Do you know that most people don’t even realize they have gum disease until it has progressed to a stage where they have pain or tooth loss?

So, while it’s great that you are in the research process early and looking for a periodontist, it’s better to understand who is a periodontist. Because, in the dental field, there are many closely resembling professionals – orthodontist, periodontist, endodontist, prosthodontist – and people are likely to get confused.

So, how is a periodontist different from others? And, what qualities should he have? Let’s not get right into it.

What distinguishes a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants.

After completing four years of dental school, a dentist has to get three more years of specialized education and training if he wants to be able to treat gum issues and start his practice as a periodontist.

Now, before you jump on to making an appointment, it’s vital that you identify your problem and also become aware of the qualities of a good periodontist.

What are the traits of a good periodontist?

It is helpful to keep the following few things in your mind before you proceed to choose the best periodontist for your problem.

Does in-depth diagnosis.

A good periodontal dentist will carefully examine your mouth and explain all dental issues related to your teeth, gums, and connective tissue. Because only a doctor with good diagnosis skills can understand the root cause of the problem and take an appropriate course of action for the treatment. The wrong diagnosis can alter the course of your treatment and can actually make your condition worse than it was before treatment started.

In addition to diagnosis, a good periodontist will also take your medical history and ask about related issues. So, watch out for your first meeting with your doctor and see how detailed his diagnosis is.

Educates and communicates well.

No one likes getting in a conversation where they don’t understand anything. But, unfortunately, a conversation about periodontal disease and its treatment could be like one of those if your doctor regularly uses terms that you are not familiar with.

Hence, good communication is one of the most vital traits to consider when choosing a periodontist. Not only will it afford you greater involvement in your treatment, but miscommunication (and the consequences that follow it) are also kept at bay.

Manages pain and healing.

When you have gum or teeth issues, you want to look for a doctor who is committed to reducing your pain and discomfort. For that, you need to have a discussion with your periodontist about the treatment procedure beforehand and ask if he offers a less-invasive or non-invasive treatment method.

Further, some doctors offer sedation dentistry to ensure patients can feel as comfortable as possible. Make sure you consider the treatment procedure in advance.

Is convenient and affordable.

Delaying your visit to a periodontist could aggravate your pain and gum health. Therefore it is essential to consider a doctor with an accessible location and suitable hours.

Also, almost all clinics and doctors use state-of-the-art equipment and medical rooms to see and treat patients, but you don’t want this to strain your pocket. Therefore, you must consider someone who is an expert and well-reputed but also offers a decent package.

Now that you know who a good periodontist is, let’s see what cases should be taken to a periodontist.

When do you need to see a periodontist?

You should consider visiting a periodontist if you have the following (or similar) symptoms:

  1. If your gums are a bit red and swollen, or if they bleed when you brush and floss your teeth, this could be an early sign of gum disease. (This is a sign that your gum tissues are under attack by harmful bacteria).
  2. When you always have a sour taste in your mouth or seem to have bad breath more than usual. Bad bacteria are responsible for this and could lead to periodontal disease. (Having bad breath even after brushing is a good sign that something’s wrong).
  3. If some of your teeth start appearing longer than usual, this means that your gums are receding. It may also be the early development of deep pockets between your teeth and gums, and your gum tissues might be pulling away.
  4. Some of your teeth start feeling loose or might not meet adequately when you bite. 
  5. A very clear sign of advanced gum disease is pain in your teeth and gums when you eat. (This happens when an infection reaches the roots, and biting causes pressure on the tooth and surrounding gums, inflicting pain).
  6. If your gums have receded, your roots start becoming exposed and become sensitive to foods and drinks that are either hot or cold.
  7. Gum disease tends to run in families, so if your siblings, parents, or grandparents have such issues, you should be careful too.
  8. If you smoke, you are much more prone to gum disease than usual. (Smoking causes less oxygen and nutrients to reach your gums and makes them unhealthy).
  9. If you are diabetic, you are at risk of gum disease.

If you have any of the above conditions, it would be wise to schedule an appointment with a periodontist and get your gum health checked immediately. But don’t go to just any periodontist. Make sure your doctor meets at least some of the qualities described above!